Winter weather causes severe blood shortage - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Winter weather causes severe blood shortage

The recent winter weather impacted travel and businesses across major portions of Georgia and Alabama. The halt in traffic also cut into the blood supply for both states, creating a desperate need for donations. 

Both the Red Cross and LifeSouth community blood centers have come forward expressing a need for donations. 

The snow and ice forced both organizations to cancel hundreds of blood drives and close donor center, leading to a critical shortage for area hospitals. 

LifeSouth has teams working overtimes in an effort to rebuild supplies. They provide all of the local hospitals with blood products. 

Their blood mobiles were out in Montgomery, Troy, Selma, Clanton and Eclectic this weekend. Their donor center on Carmichael Road was also open. 

The icy roads left some of the LifeSouth blood mobiles stranded or they required several hours to cover a few miles to get back to their bases after the storm rolled through. 

But even though supplies and donations have been down due to the weather, officials say the need is still there. 

"Last week was a treacherous week, schools were out, businesses were closed and there were lots of accidents and of course that takes a toll on our blood supply here in the area," said Melinda Hinds, LifeSouth District Community Development Coordinator. "Even though things came to a halt, the hospitals are still in need. We're trying to build that inventory back up."

Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

For LifeSouth, donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo I.D. is also required. Check or the LifeSouth Facebook page for information on center reopening or call 888-795-2707. 

LifeSouth's donor center is open late until 7 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to accommodate donors. On February 7, 2014 from 6 AM- 6PM, LifeSouth is partnering with WSFA for the ninth year to host the "Give from the Heart" blood drive at their donor center on Carmichael Road in Montgomery to boost donations and help save lives. 


Powered by Frankly